People were out in lawn chairs, grills and coolers set out along with friends and lovers as the bus lurched and chugged past Pelham Bay Park; and as I looked out the window, I thought it almost odd that, for possibly the first time in my life, I am looking forward to the end of summer.
Odd because for any cyclist, the summer is definitive of, well, cycling. The more competitive time it just right, to peak at whatever optimal time they’ve chosen, the more laid-back take advantage of the long daylight hours to ride until 9pm, and everyone spends July - my birth month, coincidentally - talking, watching, and obsessing over the Tour. Everything buzzes during the summer - on and off the bike - and doped up on Vitamin D, able to ride without multiple layers and/or beards, everyone seems that much happier.
But I’m still looking forward to the end of it all. Because I’m going to miss it.
Yeah, I know, there will be other Tours. There will be other summers spent watching recorded stages on various couches, shrieking at the screen or asking incessant questions about the racers. There will be summers where I can build up miles and hours spent in the saddle and go on lazy, random, evening rides. Yeah, summer’s still going to come around once this one’s done, I know. But there is something I’m going to miss, and even the fear fueled by a test meant to kick my ass and put my brain through a blender for three days isn’t doing anything for the disappointment I’ve been feeling about this one.
I’m referring, of course, to the NYC Rapha Cycle Club.
A pop-up shop meant to open [officially] on July 3rd, with an invite-only party on the 1st, it’s been talked about since what feels like forever ago. And with the official press release email going out last Wednesday, I felt justified in visiting the new space on Bowery this past weekend on a long overdue trip to NYC.
Not that I asked Rapha if I could visit the space, or go inside, or talk to the [super nice] guys that are working on getting it ready. Neither did I really have authorization to do any of the above from Portland. But maybe implied permission isn’t so much of a stretch when your boyfriend happens to be the newly hired Manager of the Rapha Cycle Club.
I remember this time last summer, talking about bikes and design and everything else in a small apartment on the Lower East Side. Mike jokingly said that we should ask Jeremy how to land his job, “but in New York.” I think I said that I’d fight him for it. Fast forward a year, and Mike seems to have managed - albeit temporarily - just that. Since the beginning of the month, he’s been telling me about the new space, what it’s going to look like, and even the potential list of scheduled events. And in between Contracts and Criminal Law, I wished I could be there.
Not that I’m going to miss it all [the pop-up shop is open through September]. But the party I somehow managed to officially get invited to, and the month of July is time that I’ve resigned myself to miss. Given that books have mostly replaced bikes by this point [other than my commute, I’ve gone on one measly hour-long ride in the past three weeks], I’m almost too busy to be disappointed. Or at least that’s what Mike’s been telling me, in a sweetly considerate attempt to divert my focus from all the awesome stuff he’s currently putting together with the rest of the Rapha crew. But that doesn’t mean all this stuff isn’t going to happen. It is. But hey, what can I do, right?
Which is one reason why, if you live in the city or make weekend trips down there, you should check it out. With a coffee bar, TVs, and a giant table to just hang out around, it’s slated to be more than just a retail shop peddling its wares for a few months. Rapha Continental riders will be there, I’m sure, as well as limited edition somethings, and if that’s not enough for you, I’ll be there in August, too.
But really, that should be more than enough. So unless you’ve got a bar exam or two to take, do me a favor [pretty, pretty please], and don’t miss July at the Rapha Cycle Club.